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September 05, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-05

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 5, 1991
e £rt1C jau 1Bail

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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Students, admin
che past year at the Un
numerous conflicts b
dents and the administrat
,rallies and sit-ins held las
:vorsity Board of Regent;
security officers.
Students and administ
issues such as the Univer
policy, minority enrollm
government and a code of
And it appears as though1
communication is the pri
Communication levels
tration and student group.
year. While both the admi
tatives of the Greek syster
communication had been!
the administration and th
tembly (MSA) was, at be
Interim Vice Presiden
Mary Ann Swain -theI
with students-said last ye
.its problems with the adm
tive manner. She said MS)
concerns as demands, and
"positive" negotiations.
But the former assem
,other administrators as the
MSA President Jennifer V


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istrators should bridge communication gap
tiversity was marked by administrators were insincere in their efforts to
etween University stu- address student concerns.
ion, beginning with the Better communication between students and
t fall to protest the Uni- administrators must come from both sides. Students
s' decision to deputize should approach the administration with the in-
tention to talk instead of protest. Concerns should
rators also clashed over be framed as problems formutualresolutionrather
sity's military research than as demands. Students have a responsibility to
ent, the role of student make sure their concerns are heard and to make
non-academic conduct. sure the administration knows the various student
the absence of effective body views on any controversial issue.
mary catalyst for these The administration must also be increasingly
open to communication from students. Every ef-
between the adminis- fort should be made to promote dialogue with
s varied throughout last students. Members of the administration should
nistration and represen- venture beyond the walls of the Fleming Building
n's governing body said and actively seekout student opinions. Good policy-
good, dialogue between making is an impossibility without intimate
e Michigan Student As- knowledge of the everyday lives of University
st, strained. students.
t for Student Services Furthermore, the administration should continue
University's key liaison forums such as the ones held last fall in which
ar's assembly expressed Interim Vice President for Student Services Mary
inistration in a destruc- Ann Swain actually went to classes to discuss the
A too often presented its University's alcohol and drug policy.
I was unwilling to enter Until both the administration and student gov-
ernment invest the time and effort necessary to
bly named Swain and maintain effective levels of communication, stu-
e unwilling party. Then- dent and administrative interests will continue to
an Valey felt University suffer.


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O of work
;Washington must do more for unemployed

ore than 300,000 jobless Americans exhausted
their unemployment benefits in July - the
highest monthly total since the Labor Department
began keeping records in 1951. But even as unem-
ployment inches upward, President Bush refuses
4o extend unemployment benefits past their current
26-week limit.
As recently as 1977, jobless Americans meet-
ing certain criteria could receive up to 70 weeks of
benefits. Since then, Washington has not only
lowered this ceiling to 26 weeks, but it has watched
passively as many states imposed stringent new
qualifications on who could receive benefits in the
first place. While 70 percent of all workers quali-
fied for benefits in 1977, the comparable number
today is 42 percent.
Confronting these dismal numbers and an in-
Greasingly disgruntled labor movement, Congress
recently appropriated $5.2 billion in emergency
funds to extend benefits. But Bush - claiming he
wants to hold the line on any additional spending
- has refused to release the funds.
Bush's position is not only wrong, but hypo-
critical as well. His crocodile tears about budget
woesnotwithstandinghe had no such fiscal scruples
while padding defense spending. Once again, he
has demonstrated his willingness to place the
Pentagon's budget ahead of the citizens he claims
A new day

to be defending.
The Democrats aren't much better. Though
they have cynically used the unemployment issue
to score points with the American public, their
proposal's meager allocation grandstands more
than it pursues sorely needed reform of the way in
which jobless benefits are dispersed.
The package would only cover insured work-
ers. It would do nothing for the seasonal
farmworkers, students, self-employed, and part-
time workers who have always been legally ex-
cluded from receiving benefits. It would also have
done nothing to reverse the laws passed since 1980
in 31 states which have increased the number of
weeks worked and wages earned necessary to
qualify for benefits. The proposal, in other words,
would only have benefited the highest paid, most
skilled workers.
Without benefits, nobody can weather jobless-
ness for long. At the current pace, the total number
of Americans who run out of benefits in 1991 will
exceed any year since insurance programs for the
unemployed were first established in the 1930s.
Unless Bush and the Congress act soon, millions
of Americans will be waiting in soup lines and
looking for shelter - reliving Depression-era vi-
gnettes that ought to be relegated to the history

Keep MSA's
working parts
To the Daily:
The next time you're walking
past the front of Angell Hall,
look up past the doors to the top
of the pillars, beyond the art
work and upon the words
inscribed there:
"Religion, Morality and
Knowledge being necessary to
good Government and the
happiness of Mankind -
Schools and the Means of
Education shall Forever be
If you truly believe that the
new Michigan Student Assem-
bly (MSA) can simply disengage
the University from national
issues, then it would be in your
best interest to remove those
words from one of the oldest
buildings on campus.
Committees that are orga-
nized for the purposes of student
rights, peace and justice,
women's issues, academic
affairs and health issues are not
established to create concerns
for students, but rather to
address the very real consider-
ations of student lives. These
bodies should not be eradicated.
It is a rare instance when an
18-year old first-year student
enters the University without
ever having thought about how
social norms and politics affect
his or her life. This is a natural
part of human development and
a component of maturity.
The choice is not whether or
not national issues should be a
part of the studentsexperience. In
fact, this is not a choice at all;
there is no escaping the world-in
which we live. The choice liesin-
how to contend with these
issues. At present, the choice of
the MSA under the Conservative
Coalition (CC) is apparently
active apathy.

The former assembly was
able to effectively rally
positive student support
through its committees and
commissions. The vigil and
march on Jan. 15, 1991
protesting the Persian Gulf
War was helpful to students.
National issues will always
affect every person's life;
students are no exception. The
least MSA can do is to offer
outlets, such as teach-ins,
vigils, peaceful rallies, etc.,
where difficult feelings can be
resolved on some level. Such
rituals are as important to
human well-being as a funeral
is to a grieving family.
To recap, you cannot make
a commitment to not deal with
national issues; they will still
be in the minds of the student
body. You can choose a better
way to work with the issues
and truly be leaders for the
student community.
Disassembling the structure
of MSA is not a solution of any
kind. Restructuring the
components of it, in order to
update them to the realities of
1991-92, is in the best interest
of the student population and is
not self-serving.
The Conservative Coalition
has misjudged the political
nature of this University. It is
not issue-oriented. It is
awareness oriented. And even
without MSA, students gain
real-world knowledge daily.
They are concerned with
learning to make adult deci-
CC's term is temporary,
and the issue conscious nature
of-the University has been
constant for more than a
-century. As sure as the sun
rises every day, the proposed
changes will not last.
Col. Charles Tackett

From the Editor
Credibility. Accountabil-
ity. Diversity.
These were the three words
we had in mind when we
created the current structure of
the Daily's Opinion age
They are the goal for which
we strive every day.And
hopefully, they will be the
standards to which our readers
hold us.
Students should feel.....
assured:when rading h>>1'
tiy's opinons tht the
editorials have been well
researched, solidly thougltuont
and carefully written. And
although some readers nay
disagre.e with our stane o
certain isses, we hope our
point of view is always
considered credible.
When our readers don't
agree with us, they should
know that the Daily lends an
open ear to criticisin'- its
letters section. Students
should know that letters to the
editor provide them an open
grievaces, and to hod us
accountable for our positions,
We also feel that the
columns on our page offer
readers thought-provokig
pieces on a vanety of topics.
From exlnn and challeng-
ing the und of feminism to
tackling the issues facig the
Greek System ur columns
promiseta rhoi dise
pe ve woked ha d t:I
come up with this formula,
and we think we've hit upon
something good. We hope
you'll think so, too.
- Stephen )enderson
Daty Opinijct Editor


Soviet people must continue change, not slip backward

D ecent events in the Soviet Union are among the
Rmost significant in our lifetime. A nation with
an ingrained tradition of tyrannical rule is moving
toward democraticachange - and preserving that
transformation against a threatened return to tyr-
Many, ranging from the coup plotters to the
many so-called "Sovieta cxprtY' expected the
Soviet people to lie dawn and accept a return to
past ways in return for bread, rubles, and law and
But the actual script was to be different, as
people took to the streets of Leningrad, Moscow,
and Vilnius to prevent a return to tyranny.
Nothing like this has ever happened before in
the republics of the Soviet Union.
But even as these positive changes take place,
many questions remain about the situation in the
Soviet Union.
Boris Yeltsin, the duly elected President of
Russia, became very much of a symbol of democ-
racy during the days of the coup. S nce then, he has
demonstrated that increased individual poweris on
his mind as much as democracy.
Just as the plotters banned democratic publi-
cations during the coup, Yeltsin signed a decree in
the days afterward banning Pravda and Izvestia-
the official Communist Party newspapers -from

Yelstin also made several moves restricting
political freedoms for supporters of the Commu-
nist Party. These blatant restrictions of political
freedom are a dangerous reminder that Russia has
not completely turned the corner.
The other leader attempting to assert himself
during this crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, has shown
some troubling tendencies as well,
Widely hailed as the champion of glasnost in the
West, Gorbachev did more than institute positive
Gorbachev was responsible for the massacres
of people in Tblisi (Georgia), and in the Baltic
states - republics that until yesterday he refused
to recognize as independent. He also appointed the
very people who betrayed him in the coup. And
Gorbachev was never willing to carry democratic
reform to the point where he himself would be
subject to a free election.
It is also important to note that both Yeltsin and
Gorbachev achieved prominence working through
the same bureaucratic apparatus that the coup
plotters did.
All ofthis curiously reflects the Soviet Union of
old. The challenge now facing the Soviet people is
to maintain the spirit of democracy, and not let the
past catch up with them.

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Editoria"d freedoms as edu-,cAftimon,

by Andrew Gottesman
Last fall, the editors of The
Michigan Daily removed the
words "a century of editorial
freedom" from the newspaper's
banner on page one. We believed
our independence and educational
experience were being compro-
mised by a University that utilized
an inappropriate educational
We vowed to keep our most
visible emblem off the page until
the situation was rectified.
Today, we proudly return the
phrase that means so much to
countless Daily staffers and
alumni. While it remains a
symbol of our right to print
whatever we feel is newsworthy,
it now carries an added connota-
tion - a constant reminder of our
independent management.
This episode has yielded at
least one important insight:

reserved for the University of
It is understandably difficult
for the University to remain
completely unattached. Often, its
money, name and reputation are
at stake.
And yet the school must
attempt to foster the-educational
process through a hands-off
policy. In many cases, the best
method for students to learn is
through their own ci rts. Their
ideas, nurtured by eL h other's
encouragement and diverse
experiences, can be more valuable
than any textbook. '.
That is the case with The
Michigan Daily. And, for the time
being, the University agrees.
Last year, we felt that the
University's Board for Student
Publications, which governs the
Daily's long-term finances, was
micromanaging the paper's

We took our caseto anybody *
who would listen: the faculty, the r
president's office, alumni and past
and present Board members, to
name a few. At times it looked
like we were not going to accom-
plish anything.
But with some persistence anda
compelling arguments, the
University began listening to our
concerns. Over the summer, the
president's office agreed to install
co-chairs of the Board for Student
Publications whom we believe
have the right idea of education.
A task force has also been created,
to study alternatives for the future
of the Board. We are confident
that everybody involved is
operating with the same goal in
mind; to make the Daily as
independent as possible while still,
insuring its long-term viability.
The University would do well
to emphasize this philosophy in
nthr~raofrrn 4n.t smn

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